Archive for December, 2017

31 Dec 2017

Posted by under Family,Photos

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!

As 2017 winds down and frigid weather has us hunkered down for the holidays, we would like to wish each of you the very best this Christmas season and for the coming new year.  Reflecting on the year as the last day of the year slips away, we are very grateful for all that we have, for friends and family and for each other.  Last Christmas, we were just getting back on our feet after a long spell of unemployment as Calgary struggled with low oil prices and the ripple effect through the entire economy.  A year later, we have undone most of the “robbing Peter to pay Paul” but it will be another year yet before we get back to where we were in 2015.  Yet, we are thankful for all we have, as we know many who are still looking to fully get back to work. Continue Reading »

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17 Dec 2017

Posted by under Family


After losing Chloe so suddenly in September, we thought it would be a while before we would be ready for another dog in the family. However, life doesn’t always unfold the way you think it might. We all really felt the absence of Chloe, whether her greetings in the morning as we came down to the kitchen or when it was family movie night and she wasn’t there to snuffle up the dropped popcorn. The gap left by Chloe was felt quite strongly by Brenda and, knowing how finding the right puppy and the right breeder can take quite a while, she started to keep and eye out for French Bulldogs.

The dog breeding landscape is filled with traps for the unwary. At one end of the spectrum are dubious on-line ads for inexpensive puppies – but if you use a wide geographic area in your search, the same litter is advertised as being from Kelowna, Red Deer, Prince George and Saskatoon and the phone number is from Ontario. On the other end of the spectrum are legitimate, but overly intense show dog breeders asking for huge sums of money as non-refundable “expressions of interest” – and a multi-page application more probing than any needed for a mortgage or a job. In between, if you are lucky, you can find breeders who just genuinely are interested in the their breed and have a balanced approach to finding good homes for good dogs.

Even though Brenda was “just looking” when the right dog showed up, well, events just took on a life of their own! The litter was well cared for and well socialized, the asking price reasonable and the timing just right to allow the pup to adjust to our routines before the Christmas holiday. So, last Friday (8 Dec) we picked up Ruby – a black/brindle Frenchie about 11 weeks old. The brindle in her fur is a reddish ginger colour, so that’s how she got her name. She is very cute – full of energy and always looking for something to chew on. At this point it seems that her ears are full grown but her head is not!

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07 Dec 2017

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Family

Sinterklaas 2017

‘Tis the season to make poffertjes!

This past weekend was our annual Langendoen family Christmas gathering. Every year, for the past 11 years, we have set aside the first weekend in December (as close to 5 Dec as possible) to celebrate Sinterklaas with all 15 cousins. This year we added Brenda’s cousin Anna and her family who have moved to Alberta this year. In all we had 31 for much of the weekend. This year we all met a the senior’s center in Rocky Mountain House – it’s wheelchair accessible for Brenda’s Dad and very close to their home, so that worked out very well with lots of room for everyone.

The gathering has changed a lot over the years – five of the kids are adults over the age of 18 now. But many things remain the same as the first time we met up for Sinterklaas in 2007 at the Banff Gate Resort in Dead Man’s Flat. We still have wooden shoes full of Dutch treats, a visit from Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet, board games and lots of food.

Poffertjes are a staple for brunch on the Sunday – every year Brenda and I bring poffertjes and bacon and it never fails to be a hit. This year, we made almost 700 of the little pancakes – we have to double the recipe and then make 3 of the doubled batches. We made them at home the day before we headed to Rocky and re-heated them while we cooked the bacon.

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